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What Costumes Are Popular This Year? Superheroes, Flirty Monsters Hot for Halloween 2012

This year's most popular costumes are inspired by bubblegum pop mavens and summertime blockbusters.

Question: What do you get when you cross Teenage Dream, Pink Friday and the Cookie Monster, with perhaps a dash of Lady Gaga?

Answer: This year's new hit Halloween costume in Burnsville. Meet Melody Monster, Fuzzy Frankie and Shaggy Shelly, new and ultra-popular offerings amongst this year's Halloween stock.

"If Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj had a baby, this is what you would get. That's what it would look like," said Trina Misiak, manager of Halloween Express in Burnsville. "They're bold, bright, with lots of color."

Fuzzy flirts aside, the costume business is seeing a bit of a boom in the superhero department, thanks to the a successful summer at the box-office, with suits mimicking the Avengers, Batman and Catwoman flying off the shelves. Apparently, women are not shy about form-fitting styles sported by Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway.

"I would say superheroes are trending," Misiak said.

There's only one way to fit into a catwoman onesie, though: Hit the gym, Misiak said.

"We've got several styles of Catwoman, but they're all going to be challenging," Misiak said.

One trend that seems to be dying down (pun intended), is the zombie craze. In 2011, almost 3 million consumers said they would be dressing as one of the reluctant dead, the National Retail Federation. This year, zombies appear on the top 10 list, but consumer demand seems to have cooled. Nevertheless, Misiak noted that while the zombie costume has declined in favor, one of the store's hottest props is a riff on the theme. This year's favorite Halloween porch furniture features a zombie grandmother rocking a zombie baby. 

So how do most people decide what to wear? According to this year's survey by the NRF, most people still simply go to the store and browse. About 36 percent said they would decide while shopping. Almost a quarter said they would get ideas from their nearest and dearest—family and friends. However, an increasing number of consumers are going online to find inspiration for All Hallows' Eve. About 33 percent will scour the web via google and other searches, another 15 percent said they would check out Facebook and another 7.1 percent said they would look for ideas on Pinterest

The survey also asked respondents what their likely costume choice would be. Here are the nation's top 10 choices for 2012, according to the NRF:

Rank Kids Adults Pets 1. Princess Witch Pumpkin 2. Batman Vampire Devil 3. Spider-Man Pirate Hot Dog 4. Witch Batman Characters Dog going as cat 5. Disney Princess Zombie  Bee 6. Superhero Vixen Cat going as dog tied with ghost 7. Pirate Princess Superhero 8. Vampire Nurse tied with ghost Witch 9. Zombie Cat Bowties 10. Ghost Superman Superman

Halloween Express is a seasonal store, which is located on McAndrews Road next to Costco, in the back of Ace Hardware of Burnhill Plaza. The store will be open through one week after Halloween. Another store, Halloween Haven of Apple Valley, will be open until Nov. 3. Halloween Haven is near the intersection of County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue, behind the McDonald's.

For those who would rather go DIY, check out Martha Stewart's site, which has some spooky craft ideas (levitating treat table, anyone?) for the ambitious few, as well as a photo gallery of some of Stewart's standout Halloween get-ups. You can also check out our story about how to dress for Halloween on the cheap: Halloween Costume Ideas That Won't Haunt Your Wallet. 

And don't forget, you could win $5,000 in Patch's 2012 Halloween Costume Contest as well. Find out more here: Enter to Win Patch’s Best Halloween Costume in America Contest.

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